Fibromyalgia is a type of chronic pain that affects a lot of people nowadays.
Although it has been long thought to be “just” a mental disorder and it has been often mistaken with hypochondria, more recent studies show that this is as real as any other syndrome out there and that millions of Americans live their daily lives facing it.
What is Fibromyalgia exactly, which are its precise causes and even which the exact symptoms of this syndrome are – these are questions that still lie awaiting for their clear answers.
Among specialists, opinions are divided and there are very few things on which most of them would agree. Still, these things can make the difference between living a life in pain (actual, physical pain) and ameliorating it with each day that passes by.
One of the things on which most of the doctors will agree is the fact that the general cause that leads to developing Fibromyalgia is the fact that certain unbalances in neuro-chemical elements are created at the level of the brain. These abnormalities eventually lead to the brain not being able to process pain correctly.
Still, what is it that leads to the apparition of these abnormalities has not yet been very clearly stated. A lot of opinion makers in the field believe that stress has an important role, since it can affect the neuro-chemical balance in the brain. Other specialists also think that there are other risk factors involved in the process of developing Fibromyalgia as well and genetics and environment are some the most important such risk factors.
Other factors include bad diet, repetitive injuries, bad fitness condition and a traumatic event. Also, there is a list of medical conditions that are considered to be causes, effects and misdiagnoses of Fibromyalgia (and what are they depends on the specialists opinion as well as on the patient’s particular case). Lupus, Arthritis, depression, anxiety and disease related to the CNS (Central Nervous System) are among these medical conditions.
As mentioned above, a low level of fitness capacity can be a risk factor in developing Fibromyalgia. At the same time though, it can be a good way of ameliorating its symptoms. Thus, it is important that patients suffering from this particular syndrome try to acquire a better fitness level. However, it is also important that the work outs they perform should not be very harsh, since that could make their condition worsen, instead of becoming better.
Which are the types of work outs that are both safe and effective in treating Fibromyalgia then? Here is a list of the most common, most effective and most suitable ones for patients with this syndrome:
Many people out there forget about walking, although it can be a very healthy way of keeping yourself in shape, both physically and mentally. A short walk can work wonders on your physical condition and people who live with Fibromyalgia should consider it. As a low-impact exercise, it will not pose risks, but its benefits will be tremendous on your general state of being. Your joints will hurt less, you will feel less depressed and even your digestion could be improved.
This is another low-impact type of exercise that could benefit those who suffer from Fibromyalgia. Because it is its essence a cardio exercise, it can help greatly with your physical condition. Moreover, the water will make your weight feel less than it is, and the pain usually associated with exercising can be diminished by a lot. This makes it a good exercise for anyone who suffers from medical conditions associated with joint pain.
This has become one of the most popular types of exercises that have been borrowed from the Eastern world. Essentially a spiritual practice, Yoga can bring you benefits both from a psychological point of view and from a physical one. Because it is a type of exercise routine based on stretching, it will help with relieving the pain in the joint. Furthermore, it can be as low impact or as high impact as you want it, especially since the Yoga poses are designed to fit any level of fitness.
If yoga seems too complicated to you, then you could try Pilates. This is also a type of exercise routine that is based on stretching, but its poses may feel a lot less complicated to learn. Furthermore, it can be performed at various levels of intensity, which makes it suitable even for people who are not allowed to work out extensively (such as those who are patients of Fibromyalgia).
Brought to the Western world from China, this alternative therapy method has also gained a lot of popularity among many people suffering from Fibromyalgia. It is a light type of exercise that can improve a lot your general state of being, as well as the flexibility of your joints and it can increase your level of fitness.
6- Weight training
This may not seem like an appropriate type of exercise for those trying to avoid working out too much, but it can actually be beneficial. Patients with Fibromyalgia should choose light weight training (with weights measuring from 5 to 10 pounds) and they should make sure that the range of motion in their exercise is low enough (so that it does not cause them pain).
There are many other ways of improving your fitness level if you are trying to ameliorate the Fibromyalgia symptoms, but those presented above are among the most popular ones. As long as it has a low impact, almost every kind of exercise can be beneficial for you in a large number of ways (including the fact that it will increase the level of serotonin, the so-called “happiness hormone”, which is extremely important for those suffering from this syndrome).
However, bear in mind that regardless of the form of work out you may choose, you should check with your doctor first and that you should not overdo it. Generally speaking, 30 minutes, twice per week can bring you a lot of benefits and you will see results in almost no time.